Plantscaping & Plant Tips

Plantscaping Benefits: Plants are Nature’s Air Freshener

Breathe Easier with Plants

Nearly everyone will agree that plants are attractive. But did you know they can significantly improve the quality of your life by purifying the air you breathe?

When most people consider air pollution, they think of the outdoors. But similar problems manifest themselves a little closer to home – or office. Today’s highly effective modern construction techniques, coupled with state-of-the-art synthetic materials, produce buildings that are so energy efficient that indoor and outdoor air cannot always properly ventilate. This creates a problem known as the “Sick Building Syndrome”.

NASA Research on Toxic Air

plantscaping can keep air fresh and clean according to NASA studiesNational Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) research, originally complied to determine methods to clean the atmosphere of the Space Shuttle, has proven that even a small number of plants significantly reduces the toxins in the air we breathe. Toxic vapors such as formaldehyde, carbon monoxide benzene, ozone, radon and trichloroethylene are emitted from common products such as carpet and padding, particle and pressed wood products, foam insulation, copy machine inks, oils, paints, dyes, plastics, rubber, detergent, varnishes, adhesives, hair spray, deodorant, grocery bags, waxed paper, facial tissues, paper towels and second-hand smoke! This should make you more than a little concerned about the air you breathe.

Living Plans Are The Solution

Fortunately, a simple, nature and inexpensive solution is available – include plants in your interior spaces, or plantscaping.

NASA studies so strongly demonstrate the value and efficacy of plants to clean air that future space systems will continue to carry live plants on board for air purification.

Living plants are the ultimate, affordable, multi-purpose investment. If this simple solution is good enough for NASA, imagine how you and your family can benefit.

Please permit The Foliage Company to recommend plants to suit your needs and budget. You can breathe easier with The Foliage Company!

Three Common Plant Pests

plantscaping pests can be controlled with planningMites

While you may not see the mites themselves, their fine webbing will be visible on the undersides of leaves. You will also notice pin-head sized dots, known as stippling, throughout the leaf which gives the entire plant a yellowish appearance. Mites are difficult to detect and they spread like wildfire, especially in the summer as they prefer dry, warm  conditions.

Mealy Bugs

Mealy bugs are characterized by small, roundish, white cottony tufts which are reasonably easy to spot. In their crawler stage they lack the “cotton” (which are actually egg sacks) and they appear pinkish and oval-shaped. Mealy bugs secrete honeydew which leaves a sticky, shiny surface on the plant that can harbor sooty mold, a blackish unattractive film which can pose a threat to the plant.

Scale

Scale are small, roundish, brown or gray, hard or soft-shelled scab-like pests that can be found just about anywhere on the plant. Like mealy bugs, scale secrete honeydew. Scale are quite persistent and they adhere to the plant even after the pests are dead.

What can you do?

Proper care/grooming of your plantscaping design as well as early detection and timely and appropriate treatment will do much to alleviate a sever pest infestation. Keep plants at proper moisture level (neither too wet nor too dry) and keep plants in an area with adequate light availability. Pests are usually found on new growth where plant material is more tender and therefore easier to penetrate. Isolate infested plants from healthy plants. Spray infested area with diluted rubbing alcohol/liquid soap (plus a dab of vanilla to mask medicinal smell), which will dry the protective outer shell of the insect. Repeat treatments are usually necessary. Use an insecticidal soap, systemic insecticide, or a chemical suggested by your local nursery. Even flea collars and “no pest strips” will reduce pest populations. Follow directions on labels and always thoroughly wash hands after using chemicals.

Contact us for free specific instructions, we are happy to help you solve the problem.